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Showdown Over Consumer Agency Leader; Mulvaney Called Consumer Agency A "Sick, Sad" Joke; Trump Tweets He "Took A Pass" On Time's Person Of The Year; Egypt Strikes "Terror Outposts" After Massacre; Officials: Tillerson Snubbing Ivanka Trump's India Trip; Trip; Trump to Meet With Senate GOP Before Crucial Vote on Tax Reform; New Roy Moore Ad Blasts Allegations As False; North Korean Workers Dig Trench Where Soldier Escaped to South Korea; Emergency Care Sparse in Parts of Rural America. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired November 25, 2017 - 06:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Showdown at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, pitching the president against an Obama appointee. Who is really in charge of the top U.S. consumer watch dog agency?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has very close knowledge of the Comey firing and perhaps likely the president's state of mind when he did that firing. Based on what I've seen, Michael Flynn is in deep trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all want to know the answers to everything tomorrow. This is a long process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The name dominating national headlines for more than two weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll work across party lines to create jobs and get wages up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we're getting nationally is, Alabamans would vote for a pedophile over a liberal Democrat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't vote for the baby killer for hell or high water.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning to you. I'm Christi Paul. And with us today --

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. Great to be with all of you.

PAUL: What a Thanksgiving it is, Martin. Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Chaos brewing at the agency that has a huge impact on helping safeguard your finances.

PAUL: At the stroke of midnight, the man heading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray stepped down. The question is who is going to replace him as of Monday? That depends on who you ask.


PAUL (voice-over): A lot of confusion this morning over who is leading the top U.S. consumer watch dog agency, and here is why. President Trump tapped White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to be interim chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB.

The announcement came, though, just hours after the outgoing director, Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee formerly resigned and named his chief of staff, Leandra English, the successor, which makes her the acting director.

The appointments of two officials to the same post sets up a political and legal clash here. The question of who is in charge when employees return to work on Monday. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who helped create the CFPB tweeted this, "The Dodd-Frank Act is clear. If there's a CFPB vacancy, the deputy director becomes acting director. Donald Trump can't override that."

But the administration can appoint a current government official into a new job as long as they're confirmed by the Senate under the Federal Vacancies Act to serve in an acting capacity. So, the CFPB was created after the 2008 financial crisis to protect consumers and keep an eye on Wall Street.

Republicans argue the agency has too much power, not enough oversight and establishes what they see as anti-business regulations. Mulvaney has been a long-time critic. While serving in Congress, he voted in favor of killing the agency and once called it a sick and sad joke.

President Trump will ultimately nominate a permanent director. The opening is a chance for a major overhaul of the bureau.


SAVIDGE: So what does the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau actually do for you? According to the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill, the watch dog group has several accomplishments aside from just taking on Wall Street.

More recently it forced Wells Fargo to pay full refunds to customers after employees setup those phony accounts. The bureau also gave $130 million to service members, veterans and their families that were harmed by predatory financial practices, and it made credit card costs more transparent saving consumers more than $16 billion in fees.

PAUL: So, Abby Phillip, CNN White House correspondent is with us now as well Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News, Gabby Morrongiello, White House correspondent for "The Washington Examiner," and Joey Jackson, a CNN legal analyst. Thank you, gang, everybody for being here.

So much to talk about. Joey, I want to start with you. I want to read to you what Senator Warren said yesterday on Twitter about Cordray's decision to appoint Leandra English. She said, "President Trump can't override that, he can nominate the next CFPB director, but until that nominee is confirmed by the Senate, Leandra English is the acting director under the Dodd-Frank Act."

She's right. The Dodd-Frank Act does speak to this, but Joey, from a legal standpoint, who will be running this agency Monday morning?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning, Christi. Good morning, panel. Don't you love politics? I believe who will be running it is the person who Trump nominated to do it. Here is why. Clearly, there's a classic and it's not too uncommon discrepancy between two different statutes.

Of course, you have the Consumer Protection Financial Affairs Agency. It says, listen, you know what, in the event that the director leaves, the deputy director can step up.

[06:05:09] But it also says -- in that little quotation it says unavailable or absent. And so technically, does a resignation mean that you're unavailable and/or absent? Well, that's the question.

But then there's that vacancy act, which allows the president to make an appointment in an agency. I think that as long as the president, Christi, has control of both parties, what do you do? If there's any dispute, you change the law.

So, I think the courts will be loaf to get into this. I think this is more classified as what we call a political question in constitutional law. I think it's something that will be resolved.

But if you have the president of the United States saying I want you, even if it's a person who said it's a sick, sad joke, the agency, I think the president generally would get what the president would want, irrespective of the party. But as long as they control both houses, I don't see this as an issue.

PAUL: All righty. So, Errol, I want to go to you because Joey just brought up a very good point we want to talk about. Mick Mulvaney at one time criticized the CFPB as a sick sad joke. He's a former South Carolina congressman who co-sponsored legislation to shut this agency down. Let's listen to what he said.


REP. MICK MULVANEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: t's a wonderful example of how a bureaucracy will function if it has no accountability to anybody. It turns up being a joke, and that's what the CFPB really has in a sick, sad kind of way. You've got an institution that has tremendous authority over what you all do for a living, over your businesses, over your members.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: So Errol, what do you prognosticate for us here, what do you or others expect this agency will turn into in the future if he's at the helm?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, if he's at the helm we can expect him to at least try to hollow it out, try to make sure it doesn't do much of what was just described by Martin Savidge.

Frankly, that wonderful partial explanation of some of the recent greatest hits by this agency explains why Mick Mulvaney and a bunch of others on Capitol Hill have been trying to kill it which is that it's a very effective agency.

They've gotten tens of billions of dollars into the hands of consumers that was improperly taken away from them. Whether you're talking about service members, student loans, talking about in some cases black borrowers, who were discriminated against.

There are large groups of people who have gotten lots and lots of money back that was improperly de need them for sort of skimmed off the top when it wasn't supposed to be. As long as you have a hostile Congress and now apparently a hostile administrator who is going to be running this agency, it will become a shadow of its former self which is really too bad.

PAUL: Gabby, essentially, it's an aggressive watch dog -- a consumer watch dog. It's got broad power to combat financial abuses, but it's a critical agency, a lot of people see it, for consumers. Is it strong enough in some capacity, though, to survive? Is there a sense of that?

GABBY MORRONGIELLO, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Well, the Treasury Department under this administration has already signaled that it wants to significantly scale back the responsibilities of this agency and the -- what it has on a day to day agenda in terms of its duties and whatnot.

It wasn't really a surprise that President Trump would appoint Mick Mulvaney as the interim director of this agency considering he has been highly critical of its operations and what it should stand for and what it should promote in terms of consumer protection.

So, I do think that there's a risk that we are going to see it, as Errol said, hollowed out under the Trump administration, likely to the point that it would just be obsolete, that it wouldn't be the same agency it was under the Obama administration.

And then the president could always make the argument that, well, this agency isn't doing anything, and we should probably just repeal it legislatively.

PAUL: Abby, I want to move on with you, here, to the "Time" magazine versus President Trump, it seems. President Trump -- I want to remind everybody what he tweeted yesterday, "Time" magazine called to say that I was probably going to be named man, person of the year like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass thanks anyway."

"Time" responded saying, "The president is incorrect about how we choose person of the year. "Time" doesn't comment on our choice until publication which is December 6th." So, do I understand this correctly, "Time" is basically saying essentially that the president concocted this, that they don't have a photo shoot and an interview beforehand and it's a surprise to everybody on December 6th?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's clear that "Time" is pushing back very hard on what the president is claiming in that tweet, and there is some truth to the idea that maybe they might reach out ahead of time or that it's known ahead of time who the person is.

[06:10:10] But what they're essentially saying is that they don't reach out and say you're only going to be named if we get an interview. So, it's unclear what's going on here. We do know that the president has been named person of the year in the past and that he's particularly interested in "Time" magazine.

He is interested in a lot of magazines, always focused on how many times he's been on the cover. So, this is no exception. It's not clear whether he was trying to get ahead of something here, knowing that maybe he wasn't going to be person of the year and is trying to sort of say, well, I don't want to be person of the year anyway. It's just very unclear.

But "Time" is definitely making it clear that this is not how they operate, they do not call someone and say, hey, we've got to have an interview, we have to have a photo shoot in order to name you to that position.

PAUL: Sure. So, Errol, I want to look at some of the reactions from celebrities having a little fun with this. Julia Louis-Dryfus tweeted "The New York Times" just called to say I was probably going to be comedian of the year. I said probably is no good. I took a pass. Thanks anyway."

We then have Mark Hamel a.k.a. "Luke Skywalker," of course, said "Time" magazine called to say that I was definitely going to be named man of the year, but I would have to agree to leak major episode and spoilers. I said, no problem, but then they told me you turned it down and now I don't want it anymore. Thanks anyway."

It's comical on the surface, no doubt, Errol, but is there some erosion, some damage of some sort to President Trump with all of this?

LOUIS: Well, I mean, there's damage to the presidency to the notion that what was once a very high and respected office where you'd never even consider the level of kind of foolish back and forth and sort of self-centered musings, official statements out of the White House in the past, it's now part of the new normal.

The fact that he immediately places himself on a plane where other comedians using the very same platform can ridicule him, says something about what the president's choice is, his unfortunate habit of trying to always weigh in on popular culture and become sort of a commentator-in-chief instead of leading the nation.

PAUL: Abby and Joey, thank you both so much. Errol, Gabby, I know you're going to stick around. This "Time" thing adds more intrigue to who is going to be person of the year at the end of the day on December 6th. Thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you, Christi.

SAVIDGE: Speaking of intrigue, it should be a major moment for Ivanka Trump on the world stage. Will infighting within her father's administration overshadow her trip to a global summit?

PAUL: Also Egypt says the mosque attackers were carrying ISIS flags when they massacred more than 300 people in a deadly attack yesterday.

SAVIDGE: Also the nation's health care crisis and its impact on rural America as more hospitals close their doors, residents are forced to travel hours just to see a doctor.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that because we're so rural, people tend to forget about us. Why are we not worthy of health care? We're people, too. We need help.




PAUL: It's 17 minutes past the hour right now. We have some new information out of Egypt for you this morning. Egyptian authorities are saying ISIS is responsible for that deadly massacre at a mosque yesterday. Officials added there were more than two dozen attackers and they were carrying ISIS flags. More than 300 people were massacred in a mosque in Northern Sinai yesterday.

SAVIDGE: CNN senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman is live now from Cairo for us. Ben, tell us, what else is Egypt up to as far as responding to this attack?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin, first let me tell you about the latest details we are getting from Egyptian officials. The Egyptian public prosecutor just read out a statement on tv saying that the death toll from that attack yesterday now stands at 305 dead with 127 wounded, among the dead 27 children.

Now, they're giving more details on what happened. They said somewhere between 25 and 30 men, many of them with beards and long hair entered the mosque after setting off some sort of explosion, some of them were wearing combat fatigues.

According to this statement from the public prosecutor, one of the men who entered the mosque had an ISIS flag. Now, at this point, however, it's important to stress that ISIS itself has yet to claim responsibility, or any group for this attack.

What we've seen in the aftermath is that the Egyptian Army and Air Force have been on the move. They say they've struck with air strikes some ISIS vehicles, ammunition and weapon storage facilities.

And as we heard from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, he said that Egypt would be responding with brute force to this attack. I think we'll be seeing a more stepped-up offensive against the militants in the Sinai Peninsula.

I did read one Egyptian security analyst suggesting that all of civilians be cleared out of the Northern Sinai so it could be essentially a free fire zone in this war against the militants that has been taking place now for several years -- Martin.

SAVIDGE: Ben Wedeman, thanks very much for that update on the horrific attack in Egypt -- Christi.

PAUL: So, with less than three weeks until the election, a new Roy Moore ad blasts the allegations against him as false. Will the voters believe him? Are they going to turn a red state into a blue state?

[06:20:00] SAVIDGE: Plus Rex Tillerson isn't sending senior officials to a global summit and sources say it's only because of who is going. A rift between the White House and the State Department now threatening to play out on the world stage.


PAUL: It's 24 minutes past the hour right now. Good morning to you. I'm Christie Paul.

SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. Who is in charge of one of the U.S. top consumer watch dog agency? At this point, no one is exactly sure.

PAUL: Yes. That's because President Trump tapped White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to be interim chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the director stepped down. But that sets up a political and legal clash here because the outgoing director chose someone else.

SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, the Russia investigation is moving closer to the president's inner circle. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has until Monday to turn over more documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

PAUL: And President Trump will be on Capitol Hill to push tax reform next week. He's meeting Tuesday, in fact, with Senate Republicans ahead of their expected vote. But infighting in the Trump administration is threatening to over shadow a major global summit.

State Department officials tell CNN the U.S. is not sending a high- level delegation to next week's Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India. The main reason, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doesn't want to support Ivanka Trump, who is leading the U.S. delegation to the event. That's what sources are saying.

CNN's Michelle Kosinski broke this story down for us with the details.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: OK. So, what we're talking about here is the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. It's a big event. It's put on by the State Department. This year first daughter and senior White House advisor, Ivanka Trump is headlining it.

She leaves this weekend. She was invited by the Indian prime minister himself and the theme is women's entrepreneurship. What we're hearing now from several sources including senior ones inside the State Department as well as a source close to the White House is that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his inner circle don't want to send senior people because they don't love the idea of Ivanka Trump leading the U.S. delegation here.

From a senior State Department official, they, meaning Tillerson and his staff, won't send someone senior because they don't want to bolster Ivanka. It's now another rift between the White House and State at a time when Rex Tillerson doesn't need any more problems with the president.

From a source close to the White House, Rex doesn't like the fact that he's supposed to be our nation's top diplomat and Jared and now Ivanka have stepped all over Rex Tillerson for a long time.

So now he's not sending senior people from the State Department to support this issue. He's not supporting Ivanka Trump. When you look at this event in past years, President Obama attended more than once, Secretary of State Kerry, last year it was Kerry, and undersecretary, and assistant secretaries of state.

But these sources are telling us that Tillerson and his staff aren't letting anyone above the deputy assistant level go. Originally the acting assistant secretary for the region was slated to be on the trip and she was then pulled by Tillerson and his staff.

When I asked a State Department spokesperson who are the senior people going on this trip, and the list hasn't been officially published yet, they gave a short list of the top U.S. government officials, but none of them were from the State Department.

There was an ambassador, but that person is already in India. You could say, all right, this event was an Obama-era creation, the current State Department is trying to slash its budget left and right, and there is no permanent assistant secretary for this region.

But the answers that we get back from our sources are, well, if you're going to send a smaller delegation, fine, but wouldn't you send your senior people and cut back in other ways. We did get a statement from the State Department.

It says this, "The department is committed to supporting women's economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. The summit is a prime opportunity to showcase the importance of these themes. The summit is really about the more than 1,500 entrepreneurs, investors and supporters."

But obviously they're not commenting on this perceived Tillerson- Ivanka snub and not denying any of this either. Michelle Kosinski, CNN, Washington.

SAVIDGE: Thanks, Michelle. Let's talk with our panel about all this. Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor at the "Spectrum News" and Gabby Morrongiello, who is the White House correspondent for the "Washington Examiner." Good morning, happy post-Thanksgiving to both of you.

LOUIS: Good morning.

MORRONGIELLO: Good morning.

SAVIDGE: Errol, let me start with you. Is this palace infighting or is it budget cutting and a sense of financial responsibility at the State Department? What's your pick?

LOUIS: Honestly, Martin, it looks like a little bit of both. It's extraordinary -- "The New York Times" has some recent reporting on this as well, how much has been done to the State Department as far as positions that are left unfilled. It's startling if you think about it.

The president just went on a 12-day trip through Asia and there's still no permanent assistant secretary of state to cover that region. By one count apparently something like 10 of the top 44 positions at the State Department have been filled, and the rest are still vacant.

So, with thousands of diplomats being pushed out of service, they're expected to leave by the end of next year, it looks like you're going to be shorthanded no matter what happens. For the secretary of state, however, to try to pick a political fight with Ivanka Trump of all people, seems like something you'd have to call palace intrigue because we know there's probably going to be a reaction from the White House.

[06:30:15] SAVIDGE: But, Gabby, I mean, he -- Rex Tillerson, he is the secretary of State and yet at times it does feel like maybe Ivanka and Jared Kushner have been kind of been stepping on his turf here. So do you think this is the right way for Mr. Tillerson to sort of handle his frustrations?

MORRONGIELLO: I don't know that it's necessarily the right or mature way to handle his frustrations. But I do think you have to feel for Rex Tillerson. I mean, he has been watching Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner basically behave as though they are the de facto secretaries of state in this administration.

We've seen Jared Kushner negotiating peace deals in the Middle East, to making routine trips to Saudi Arabia. We've seen Ivanka Trump taking the seat at the U.N. for her father and interacting with diplomats and global leaders on these foreign trips. And those are typically roles and traditionally roles that the secretary of state has fulfilled. And so I do think that there's a bit of frustration that's warranted.

I don't know that stripping Ivanka Trump of a high-level delegation for a trip that is very important for this White House -- entrepreneurship has been something that they've promoted heavily -- is the right way to go about doing that.

SAVIDGE: Errol, let me switch subjects here. President Trump is heading to the Hill on Tuesday to meet with Senate Republicans on tax reform. The Senate hopes to, I guess, vote next week, but quite a few senators have expressed concern. So here's the question. Does the GOP have the votes to get this done?

LOUIS: I'd be surprised if they come up with it, to be honest with you, Martin. I mean, in some ways this looks like a replay of their attempt to undo Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act. You have senators who are, to their credit, being very forthright and very forthcoming about the problems they have with this bill, with what they'd like to see change, and they don't have enough of a margin to lose more than two Republican senators.

They, of course -- you know, it's important to point out, tied their own hands by trying to make sure they don't need a single Democrat in either the House or the Senate to come along with them. And so they've tailored the bill very narrowly and what that does is give an outsized amount of power to each and every Republican member of the Senate.

So when you hear various people including a couple of opponents of the White House who have said that they're not running for re-election and therefore have nothing to lose politically. When you keep hearing Corker and Rand Paul and Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins sort of saying that they've got serious problems with this, unless those problems got fixed over the holiday, I think they're going to have a real hard time getting to 52.

SAVIDGE: And yet, Gabby, the president already seems to be setting his sights beyond tax reform. He says once that's all done, the GOP is going to take up -- wait for it -- repeal and replace Obamacare. There are major risks to keep going back to this, aren't there?

MORRONGIELLO: Not only are they planning on going back to Obamacare, they are planning on tackling welfare reform and they still have an issue to work out as far as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program goes, like, that DACA immigration program. So they do have a bit of a heavy month ahead of them in December and going into the new year.

But I think that what we're going to see play out here is likely a situation that we saw with Obamacare where the Senate ended up voting on what was dubbed a skinny repeal bill, basically stripped out everything that was controversial in that first bill that they tried to replace Obamacare with. And that's probably what could happen with tax cuts.

We could get down to just a bare bones piece of legislation that cuts taxes, cuts the corporate rate and maybe includes individual mandate to offset some of those costs.

SAVIDGE: And someone who may be voting on whatever comes forward next will be the next senator from Alabama, which is in question. Monday is the deadline for voters to register there. Roy Moore's campaign just released this new ad. Let's take a look first.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five state campaigns, 40 years of honorable service. Roy Moore has been intensely scrutinized and not hint of scandal. But four weeks before the election, false allegations, a scheme by liberal elites and the Republican establishment to protect their big government trough. But we know a vote for Roy Moore means conservative judges, tax cuts and rebuilding the military.

Roy Moore, the right choice.


SAVIDGE: So, Errol, is this the right way to go when you're facing these accusations and weeks away from voting?

LOUIS: Well, but first, Martin, a quick fact check. There was more than a hint of scandal. The man was thrown out twice as the head of the Supreme Court in Alabama for failing to uphold the law.

We've got I think in this case somebody who is reading the polls accurately. There's public polling, probably private polling that supports it in greater detail that voters are willing to overlook the sex scandal that he's currently involved in because they want certain other things from him. They want a Supreme Court vote. They want somebody who is going to be solid on the Second Amendment rights that they care about so much in the conservative south.

[06:35:09] And if he can get folks to sort of buy into that, he has a better-than-even chance of winning when the election comes around in December.

SAVIDGE: Gabby, do you agree with that? I mean, you know, we just saw that spot where you see that Roy Moore is sort of against all of the establishment. Does that play well in Alabama?

MORRONGIELLO: Well, if you listen to the Alabama voters, both immediately after the scandal in the past few weeks during -- as it's played out, they definitely still stand by him. There are some that are calling into question the validity of these allegations. There are others who say, I wouldn't vote for a liberal Democrat as our own president said earlier this week, and there are some who just simply, as Errol said, wants to -- they're single-issue voters and they want somebody in there who is going to vote against pro-abortion legislation, who is going to support Second Amendment rights.

And I do think that that's what they truly care about. But the question isn't whether what happens to Roy Moore in terms of this election, it's what happens to him if he gets to the Senate. And I think that's where all eyes are going to be. The Republicans on Capitol Hill are going to have a huge decision to face if he is elected to the U.S. Senate in terms of whether or not they want to expel him from the upper chamber.

SAVIDGE: Yes. And that's a whole another conversation for a whole another day.

Errol Louis and Gabby Morrongiello, thank you very much.


LOUIS: Thank you.

PAUL: It is a daring escape from North Korea. It was caught on camera and now Kim Jong-un's regime is taking steps to make it harder for other potential defectors to do the same.

SAVIDGE: Plus imagine if your life depended on getting to the emergency room in minutes but the nearest hospital is three hours away? That's the reality for some parts of rural America. Find out how a growing U.S. crisis is devastating some communities.


[06:41:23] SAVIDGE: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is going to be in Texas today for the funeral of a fallen Border Patrol agent. Rogelio Martinez died in a Texas hospital last weekend after he and another agent were serious injured while on patrol. The FBI isn't saying exactly what happened, calling it a possible assault. The governor of Texas says Martinez was murdered. But the local sheriff says that his injuries may be consistent with a fall into the culvert where he and his partner were found. The partner is having trouble remembering what happened.

PAUL: Let's talk about North Korea because it is now fortifying its border after a soldier's really dramatic escape which was caught on camera here. But at the exact spot where that defector ran to freedom there are workers seen digging a trench and planting trees.

But as our Brian Todd reports, there's a lot that's going to be happening behind the scene to make sure it doesn't happen again.


TODD (voice-over): They were just a few feet behind him. They fired more than 40 bullets but failed to kill or capture him. And now the North Korean soldiers who couldn't keep their comrade from pulling off a dramatic escape in recent days are facing the fallout.

A South Korean lawmaker tells CNN nearly all the North Korean soldiers present along the border that day have been replaced. Human rights observers say being replaced could be the least of their worries.

(On camera): What's their most likely fate?

GREG SCARLATOIU, COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA: They will be investigated by the military security command, possibly by the state's security department as well, which is the North Korean Gestapo. It is very likely that torture will be involved in the pre- trial investigation, if there is going to be a trial. It's most likely that they will be charged with treason.

TODD (voice-over): Analysts say the North Korean soldier's dash across the border with every compelling sequence captured on closed circuit footage was such a humiliation for Kim's regime that the repercussions could be felt among Kim's top generals as well.

SUE TERRY, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: I think the fallout will go higher up to a commanding person who were not able to stop from this happening because this is very high profile defection, it's very embarrassing for the Kim regime. I mean, even just all those tape worms coming out of the soldier's body all of these is very, very embarrassing to the regime.

TODD: Experts say the commanders of these units could be sent to labor camps, could be demoted, or sent for reeducation. Another measure the regime is taking to prevent this from happening again, North Korean workers were seen digging a trench at the spot where the soldier made a run for it.

Meantime, the South Korean soldiers who risked gunfire to crawl to the North Korean and dragged him to safety had been given medals for their bravery.

The 24-year-old at the center of all this is now off life support, his doctors say, is out of the ICU, but is still suffering psychological trauma.

DR. LEE COOK-JONG, DEFECTOR'S SURGEON: Last night, he had a dream that he was kidnapped to North Korea again.

TODD: Dr. Lee Cook-Jong says he's had to reassure the young man that he's safe.

(On camera): PTSD is very likely the this defector's only concern. Human rights monitors say the North Korean regime may go after his family back home. They could be arrested, tortured, possibly even executed. They say this regime has sometimes been known to wipe up to three generations of a defector's family.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


SAVIDGE: A hospital crisis in America. CNN travels to rural Nevada to see firsthand how skyrocketing health care costs are driving out emergency care facilities. Sometimes with deadly consequences.

PAUL: First, a champion pit master rallied his barbecue buddies to feed those in need when a catastrophic tornado hit Joplin, Missouri, in 2011.

[06:45:05] Well, now he's got a non-profit, Operation Barbecue Relief that responds to disasters all across the country. Stan Hayes is one of this year's "Top Ten CNN Heroes."


STAN HAYES, 2017 TOP 10 CNN HEROES: I've been competing in barbecue for years. Besides being a nourishing meal, it's comfort food. After a disaster, it is extremely emotional. Everybody's lives are on their front yard. So we decided we're going to get a bunch of the barbecue family together and help.

Welcome. Thank you guys for continuing out.

Over the last six years we've responded to tornadoes, floods, hurricanes. The core group are all pit masters or grill masters. But our volunteers come from everywhere.

Come on, guys.

Our goal is always to be in an area within 24 to 48 hours after a disaster strikes. We put the word out through different groups and that way we know where the meals are going.

You guys need any meals?

To know that you're a little part of picking their spirits up --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have no idea what a hot meal means to somebody who has lost everything they own.

HAYES: Can't help but bring a smile to their face.

It's amazing. Yesterday you guys put out 43,350 meals. Thank you to everybody that was here.

It is people helping people the best way we know how.


PAUL: You can vote for your favorite top 10 hero. We want to know right now at And thank you for doing so.


[06:50:57] PAUL: Well, U.S. health care costs are skyrocketing and more and more hospitals in rural areas are closing down which means since 2010 82 rural hospitals have closed nationwide.

SAVIDGE: And for some towns of course this means that the closest ER is perhaps hundreds of miles away.

CNN's Simon Ostrovsky reports.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Patient 11, 1-0-0-0 Eerie, Maine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dispatch. Medical 11. Buckle up, missy.

SIMON OSTROVSKY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the EMS crew of Tonopah, a small mining town in the middle of Nevada that 2400 people call home. There's no professional ambulance service here and Tonopah's only hospital closed its doors for good in 2015.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Medical 11 is on scene.

OSTROVSKY: So local residents have taken matters into their own hands. Dawn Gudmunsson is one of several volunteer EMTs who act as the community's only lifeline.

DAWN GUDMUNSSON, TONOPAH VOLUNTEER EMT: It's scary. It's scary to live here. I'm scared for our residents, I'm scared for my family.

OSTROVSKY: When Tonopah's hospital closed, the entire county, an area roughly the size of the U.S. state of Massachusetts, was left without any emergency medical care. Any area that's more than 30 miles away from a hospital is known as a hospital desert. Tonopah, it's more than 200 miles from emergency trauma care.

JESSICA THOMPSON, REGISTERED NURSE: If you need trauma care, well, you're looking at either Reno or Las Vegas which is 3 1/2 hours by vehicle. You know, I know of some people that did not make it on the transport. They expired en route.

GUDMUNSSON: My aunt, she had a lot of medical problems, and we weren't able to get her to higher level of care quick enough. So she passed in our ambulance. It was just hard. Like she taught us how to be EMTs and then we were working on her and there was just nothing more that we could do. And if we had had a hospital, they have years of knowledge, and it would have been different.

OSTROVSKY: Dawn is bringing her latest patient to the airport, but by the time the plane arrives from Las Vegas, they've already been waiting on the tarmac for two hours.

(On camera): This is increasingly the reality of living in rural America. If you get injured or you get sick, you have to be driven to the airport so you can get flown to a hospital hundreds of miles away.

GUDMUNSSON: I think that because we're so rural, people tend to forget about us. Why are we not worthy of health care? We're people, too. We need help.

OSTROVSKY: Simon Ostrovsky, CNN, Tonopah, Nevada.


PAUL: We'll have CNN stay on that story for you as well.

SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, President Trump hit the golf course with two of the biggest names in golf. One of -- I guess his is one of them. Right?

PAUL: Coy Wire. COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Three big golfers. Yes, good

morning to you. We've been seeing President Trump takes swings at figures from the sports world, well, yesterday he was taking swings with figures from the sports world. He played with former world number one Tiger Woods and current world number one Dustin Johnson. This was at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida. President Trump there in the red hat you see. D.J. is on the left, Tiger on the right. Tiger set to return to competitive golf next week for the first time in about nine months.

All right. It's college football Saturday. We want to tell you about Jake Hawk and his family. They find themselves in this unique situation. Jake is an offensive lineman on the Navy football team. His dad and two brothers, though, they are all Army. We've heard of houses divided. This is one of them.


JAKE HAWK, NAVY FOOTBALL PLAYER: The reason I wanted to serve is because my whole family has served from, like if you go back generations, it's all Army, Army, Army. I mean, and my brothers, they were both serving at the time. My dad, he's retired, 20 years in the Army.

JOHN HAWK, JAKE'S FATHER: Anybody that can love my son as much as they love him, I have to support them wholeheartedly. To talk to his brothers, they'll say go Army, beat Navy but we support Jake.

JAKE HAWK: My mom's stance on support is always with me, and to my understanding she'll be a Navy fan for the rest of her life.

[06:55:06] NADJEE HAWK, JAKE'S MOTHER: I root for Navy. That's it.

JOHN HAWK: The Army-Navy game in this household is -- it's an important game.

JAKE HAWK: The Army-Navy game last year it was just a -- it was a tough time.

N. HAWK: His heart is crushed, so that upsets me.

JAKE HAWK: I've never felt that bad after a loss. I don't think I will ever feel that bad after a loss again.

My brothers definitely rubbed it in.

N. HAWK: I spoke to my other sons who were like, well, mom, we're in the Army. And all I could say is, but you didn't play in that game.

JAKE HAWK: Thanksgiving this year is going to be -- I don't know. I'm not really sure what to expect because we're all going to be back together for the first time in a long time.

N. HAWK: There's always a little trash talk. They can't help themselves. It's who they are. JOHN HAWK: Until May of 2019, I will be a diehard Navy fan. The day

he throws his hat in the air and is no longer a midshipman is the day I switch back my loyalty to the Army.


WIRE: All right. The Army-Navy game takes place December 9th. We will be there. We'll bring you some of the sights and sounds. It truly is one of the greatest spectacles in American sports.

PAUL: Awesome.

SAVIDGE: It's a great story. Thanks.

PAUL: Thank you, Coy.

WIRE: You're welcome.

PAUL: We'll be right back.